Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (Photo: themalaymailonline.com)
 
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are set to launch joint patrols in waters off Mindanao island of the Philippines in late June to counter threats from Islamic State (IS) group.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced the information on June 3 during the ongoing Shangri-La 16 Dialogue in Singapore. 

He added that the sea patrols will begin in the waters bordering the three nations on June 19, with air patrol to be launched on June 20. 

Security analysts said IS was planning to set up a base in Mindanao island as part of its efforts establishing an Islamic state in Southeast Asia. 

Mindanao is an area where Islamist militant groups are still able to operate with some freedom of operation, run training camps, and conduct frequent attacks. It is also the location where the vast majority of extremist groups that have pledged allegiance with the IS are based.

Previously, the three Southeast Asian countries were successful in implementing joint patrols in Malacca Straits to fight maritime piracy. 

According to analysts, the maritime borders between the three countries make it hard to detect the movement of militants.

At the Shangri-La Dialogue, defense ministers of participating countries also warned of threats in the region posed by returning IS militants who were fighting in Iraq and Syria.-VNA